Vladimir Putin has become the second leader of a major country to invade a country soon after hosting an Olympic Games tournament. The first was Adolf Hitler following the 1936 Berlin Olympic Games.
The need to counter or protest Russia’s foray into Crimea is well made. But the consequences of this action could be counterproductive.
If the United States only trades GBP35bn a year with Russia the impact on a major oil consumer as well as producer such as Washington will be limited.
But for the EU which trades GBP335bn with Russia a year, mostly as an energy importer, the sanctions threat will have different consequences.
The need by the EU to switch to other suppliers will not drive oil prices down but may emcourage them to rise for EU nations. The adverse effects of embargo are never one-sided but shared.